A Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement Can Limit Spousal Support and Reduce Fights Over Money
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are not just for the rich!
Ensure You Don't Jeopardize Your Financial Future as a Stay-at-Home Parent
Before you take time out of the workforce to raise children, consider a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to give you financial security. I work on so many divorce cases where one spouse has left the workforce for one or two decades to be the primary caregiver and, when divorce occurs, they are left without the ability to earn much income. Instead of relying on a judge, together the spouses can discuss what might be a fair amount and duration of spousal support should divorce occur in the future.
Also, with a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, separate and community property can be defined upfront so a business or home owner doesn't have to worry about being forced to sell the business or house in the event of divorce.
According to San Francisco Bay Area Mediator Geniveve Ruckus, "The California Family Code imposes a 'premarital agreement' on you whether you know about it or not. The important thing is to understand the default rules and how they would apply to you, test them against your own values, goals, and interests and, if they fail to match, pursue a premarital agreement so that the rules governing marriage reflect the couple’s mutual desires rather than the presumptions of the legislature."
No matter what side of the fence you sit on, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help set expectations, relieve anxiety, and reduce conflict during marriage. In this video interview, San Diego Family Law Attorney Kelly Waggonner and I discuss the world of prenups and postnups and why they may be right for you or someone you care about.
I work with couples to establish a tentative financial framework before they hire attorneys to draft, finalize and review the agreement. As part of the process, I help you and your spouse organize and disclose all assets and debts and educate you on what the financial outcome could be on real estate, businesses, retirement accounts, equity compensation, student loans and spousal support should you divorce in the future without an agreement.
Being faced with a proposal from your fiancé or spouse? I can review it and give you some ideas for a reasonable counterproposal.
Keep in mind that financial planners and certified divorce financial analysts are not attorneys. Never sign a prenup or postnup without meeting with an attorney to learn about your rights and consequences of waiving them.
Laurie Itkin is a financial advisor, wealth manager, and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). She is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, Every Woman Should Know Her Options: Invest Your Way to Financial Empowerment. In both 2017 and 2018 Investopedia named Ms. Itkin one of the top 100 most influential financial advisors in the country. Through her financial consulting company, The Options Lady, she provides divorce-related financial planning and analysis to individuals and couples throughout all stages of the divorce process, with a specialty in California divorces. She is a national board member of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP) and is certified by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA). Laurie has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and San Diego Union Tribune. She has also appeared as a guest on broadcast news channels.